Tuesday, May 21, 2013
BEAVERCREEK, OH…. In a game that featured 5 cautions and 3 ejections for its opponent, the Dayton Dutch Lions managed to pull out a 4-1 overtime win against the Dearborn Stars of the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).
Playing in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Dutch Lions’ defense struggled to contain Dearborn’s big man, Mo Kaba, who figured prominently in two thirds of the game. Kaba was the first Star to shine with a 27th minute goal, compliments of a nicely placed Mike Haidar cross, and Dearborn went ahead 1-0.
Confusion reigned on the field in the 43rd minute after Dayton’s Harada served up a long ball to his offense during which Dearborn forward Kaba went down. Michigan’s back line briefly stalled but the Stars’ expectation was overridden by Dutch Lions’ advantage and Joey Madigan pierced the line, stalking one on one with the Dearborn Keeper Vito Lonigro for the equalizer, tying 1-1. The game continued, and, with two minutes of stoppage remaining, Deaborn’s Zach Wilkes was awarded the first yellow card of the match. Seconds later, Dayton’s Shane Smith took a stinging shot which spanked the right post for a denied goal. The Dutch Lions and the Dearborn Stars left the field at the half tied 1-1.
Dearborn charged hard into the second half but things began to fall apart when Kaba sent Dutch Lions’ Jeremy Cheeseman on an airborne trip and was awarded a red card. The 57th minute of the game saw its first of three Dearborn ejections.
With Dearborn continuing one man short, Dayton notched it up a bit and several Eli Garner attempts flew wide of the goal. The 65th minute found Dearborn’s Joe Beshara with his first card of the night, a yellow card. Dayton Coach Patrick Bal, unsatisfied with the lack of energy on the field, substituted Gibson Bardsley to get things rolling in the 73rd minute. However, even with the added presence in Dayton offense, the Dutch Lions failed to capitalize on their advantages and regulation ended with a tie, 1-1.
The first of two fifteen minute overtimes featured Dutch Lions’ Gregory Preciado’s and Taylor Lord’s evening debut in defense, and increased intensity for Dayton. Bardsley took advantage of an Eli Garner feed and rolled in with jab for the go-ahead in the 6th minute of overtime, with Dayton finally leading 2-1. Moments later, Tjeerd Westdijk found himself in a breakaway but was pulled up short by a Dearborn defender, managing to earn himself a yellow cards for dissent. Not to be outdone, Dearborn’s Nikki Djokic secured his first card of the night in the 14th minute, and later found himself ejected for his second bookable offense, but not before Dearborn’s Joe Beshara was directed to the showers in the final minutes of the first overtime, red card in hand. Dearborn headed into the second fifteen minute overtime down two men, and later three with Djokic’s ejection.
The Dutch Lions, smelling blood, went on a full charge and Tjeerd Westdijk pounced on a Joel DeLass assist to bring the Dutch Lions up 3-1 in the 17th minute. The same DeLass to Westdijk combination struck again in the 29th of overtime to seal the deal, 4-1 Dayton.
Coach Bal was not happy at all with the game, acknowledging that Dayton’s heavy travel and game schedule may have contributed to the lackluster showing. “You’ve got to come out like you did in overtime, having ball possession, creating chances that are good, putting goals in,” said Bal. If you do that in the first half then you don’t get into the situation where they (Dearborn) starts to believe in (winning) it.” Coach Bal continued, “I think we played slow, we played with no creativity, we played sloppy. The Dearborn team came out really strong and this showed us once again we can’t overlook anybody.”
Next up in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Dayton Dutch Lions will take on the Columbus Crew in round three, when Major League Soccer’s 16 domestic clubs kick off their leg of the tournament. The Dayton Dutch Lions clash with the Crew in Crew Stadium, Columbus, on Wednesday, May 29th, at 7:30 pm. But first, Dayton returns to league play in a home game on Sunday, May 26th, at 6:30 pm at the Miami Valley Hospital Stadium in Beavercreek, where they host Antigua’s Barracuda FC (0-7-0).